Junior League's Kids in the Kitchen Program Turns Eight

Success of grassroots campaign against childhood obesity validated by Kashi awards for myriad healthy eating and nutrition initiatives

New York, March 12, 2014 – When the Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen program was launched in 2006 by The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., childhood obesity was just starting to ramp up as a major concern among public policymakers. Now, with more than 200 individual Junior Leagues executing programs that meaningfully address the multi-faceted issue of healthy eating and nutrition among children in their own communities, including Kids in the Kitchen programs, childhood obesity is a front burner issue.

The Kids in the Kitchen birthday celebration comes shortly after encouraging news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a 43 percent drop in the obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade. The findings support the key concept behind the Kids in the Kitchen program: that the fight against childhood obesity—and about educating children and parents about the importance of good nutrition—has to start when kids are young.

“Our Kids in the Kitchen program succeeded because it brings together kids and their parents in the friendliest room in the house—the kitchen—to make fun but healthy foods together,” said Susan Danish, Executive Director of AJLI. “What is encouraging is the desire of so many of our members to implement the program, and other critical initiatives that address healthy eating and nutrition in their own communities, often while adapting it to meet needs they perceive at the grassroots level that would not be obvious on a national level.”

Ms. Danish also thanked Kashi, the premier natural food and lifestyle company, for the support it has provided to the Kids in the Kitchen program as well as through its awards to individual Junior Leagues for their implementation of the program.

Junior Leagues from around the U.S. that have received Kashi awards include:

  • The Junior League of Corpus Christi for its efforts to deal with an epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes among young children because of poor nutrition.
  • The Junior League of Huntsville for providing interactive, hands-on activities and programming that inform at-risk children about healthy eating habits while exposing them to positive lifestyle choices. 
  • The Junior League of Cedar Rapids for providing nutrition education as well as healthy and affordable meals for teens in the foster care system.


About The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.

Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer, Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact.


Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) is comprised of more than 155,000 women in 293 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they constitute one of the largest, most effective volunteer organizations in the world. 


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